I was playing with an outlines of OSNews version 4 today. I have started sketching out some ideas that I intend to implement geared at making the site more consistent, easier to use, less complex, and less heavy from a code standpoint.
One of the major areas to improve is commenting. I am going to change the way threading works almost entirely.
Secondly, moderation will definitely be AJAX-based.
Thirdly, I haven’t “cleared” this with David, but I think flat comments will be hard coded to view all in one page. It’s so much easier on the database to use a single, easy light query than to force several page loads and hit the db over and over.
Next, the comment template will be unified. Currently, there is a flat template, a threaded template, an admin flat template, an admin threaded template, and a reply template. I’m going to fix this nonsense.
In the process, I will clean up commenting. Comments use a ridiculous chain of includes just to produce a comment. This is the effect of hacked feature upon hacked feature of v3, and v4 will fix this.
Other changes: the user page will be streamlined to display user information as well as provide a base for recommendations, etc. Currently, it’s trying to be too many things.
Lastly, I intend to clean up the URLs. While preserving all valid links, I want the URLs to be prettier and not have file extensions. Jobs.OSNews is a good example of what I’d like to see via the URL.
Anyway, if you have thoughts about features, etc you’d like to see, feel free to leave a comment.